Tuesday 21st February 2017
Today’s been an interesting day.
The most important thing is that this draft of the novel has reached an important stage. I got a lot of writing done tonight. This scene, which the first part felt like wading through treacle, opened up and became an easy write. This might be because I deviated enough from the last draft that I stopped editing and started writing.
I probably could have written more but I came to a natural stopping point when I got to the end of the chapter.
What’s interesting now is that I’ve no gone over everything from draft 0.5. From here on out it’s totally new words. That means I need to start planning a bit better. Half-editing, half-writing means I’ve forgone my usual planning methods, which has probably resulted in slower than normal wordcount. The trick now is to use non-writing time to start mapping out the next chapter so that when I come to write, I can quickly lay it all out and get it all down rapidly.
That’s the plan, anyway.
Even given this, it’s still been quite a busy evening. I did a lot of food prep today. As I said to someone this afternoon, I love the Satay Chicken recipe I make, but it takes so bloody long to prepare. You’d think someone with my blade skills would be quicker at chopping vegetables… but alas no.
The gym went well this evening, continuing the tradition of late of seeing improvements. Worked on my shoulder press form and we started on single leg presses which was new. Even the prowler at the end felt better than it has in previous weeks.
Last year I swapped things around to mix things up and really challenge myself. As regular readers know, I spent most of the year feeling like I was drowning. It all came together at the end of the year and so I ended it feeling very good about my accomplishments (even if I felt far from that for most of the prior 12 months).
Likewise, this year I’ve given myself a number of challenges related to different aspects of my life all linked by the theme of The Year of the Offensive. I’ve tasked myself with being a more offensive fighter, of pushing my social media and myself, of making gains at the gym. And I really expected the first 6 months of this year to be a struggle similar to most of last year. However, this year I can already feel things coming together. Whilst I don’t regret last year and see it as a necessary challenge to take me up to the next level, this year I’ve felt a lot happier, more focused, calmer and productive, despite upping the level of challenge on myself.
Looking back, I am beginning to understand last year as the year I needed to smash my own ceiling, where I needed to access what I saw as my limitations and then set myself challenges to break them. As hell as last year was, I’m genuinely grateful for the challenge as I’m feeling so great right now.
[Reader’s Note: A writer’s mood can be linked to how many words he wrote today. I have written more than I have on average over the last couple of weeks, hence my mood]
I got copied into a Facebook drama today and it made me realise just how little I care for internet dramas any more. Yes, it’s nice if the people involved can sort out their differences, but all too often people want to be part of the drama rather than a solution. I kept out of it and for once it did not dominate my mind for the rest of the day (which is normally what happens).
Likewise, a number of people have talked to me today about their struggles with anxiety. I’ve been lucky in that my battles with anxiety have mostly been of the high-functioning kind. I can quite happily go and stand and speak in front of several hundred people, or get several hundred feet from a tornado, but ask me to make a phone call…
The worst part of my anxiety is when I have a fixed plan for something and someone comes along and tries to change it. I can get into a panic, even if it’s a better idea, and I don’t realise I’m having some form of panic attack until afterwards when I’ve stepped away and wonder why I was being such a dick.
A lot of my challenges this year have been about facing my anxieties head on. That should have made this year incredibly difficult but I’m not suffering the crippling doubt I had last year. I’m sure it has something to do with the work I’ve put in over the past 12 months, as well as projects this year like The Climb selfies.
I just wish I could bottle it and distribute it to friends who are suffering with anxiety related issues as I know just how tiring they can be.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.